St. Stephen – St. Stephen native Kyle Moore is candid as he describes his struggles with mental health, struggles that were to become the nucleus for his growing podcast, Life’s A Wreck.
As he is on Life’s A Wreck, Moore was remarkably open with us about the mental health issues he’s faced. Six years ago, he was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety, conditions he’d been dealing with his entire life.
“It was quite the 1-2 punch,” chuckled Moore.
“Anxiety would wind me up and then OCD would drive me into some pretty gnarly, intrusive thoughts. I had a really tough time feeling ‘enough’, and struggled with a lot of inexplicable self-loathing. As a kid it was tough, hell as an adult it’s tough, but as a kid I was so worried of being a burden to my family that I didn’t want to say anything.
“As a kid it was tough, hell as an adult it’s tough, but as a kid I was so worried of being a burden to my family that I didn’t want to say anything.”
“To be honest I wouldn’t have even known where to begin. Now, thankfully, I’ve spent a lot of time around the world of mental health and learned a lot, which I try to share through the podcast. Therapy was a saving grace for me. I went for the first time in Grade 8 and never really looked back.
“Going and talking to someone who has chosen a career in helping you learn more about what’s going on in your head, and how you can help improve it, is such a cathartic thing and people don’t take advantage of it enough,” he added.
Moore said the feelings that lead him to therapy amplified as he journeyed through higher education.
“I was at a really dark point in my life the summer before my third year of university, and was having a tough time expressing how I was feeling,” said the 22-year-old Ryerson University Sports Media graduate.
“I felt like a lot of emotion and mental strain was really piling up on me, but I didn’t feel comfortable confiding in the people around me because at the time, I felt like I would be a burden on them.
“I’m a big believer that if you put something out into the universe the right people will find it. So, I figured if I created something that had all the information about my mental health, and just told people where they could find it, then it was on their terms and not mine, in a way.
“From there, Life’s A Wreck was born.”
And born it was. The podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Instagram and TikTok at @moorzyyy and on Instagram @lifesawreckpodcast, started with Moore doing exactly as he described; talking almost stream of consciousness style and beautifully bluntly about his own mental health struggles, and documenting what was and wasn’t working for him.
“I mean, to be honest, initially it was like therapy for me,” said Moore. “A chance for me to get a bunch of stuff off my chest and archive it in a way that would allow me to look back and appreciate the work I had done.
“I felt like in the world of mental health, men weren’t talked about nearly enough, even though statistics show men are more likely to suffer from mental illness in silence, and make-up the majority of suicide victims.
“I wanted to show men that they could talk about this stuff without fear of looking weak or whatnot.”
Moore is right. According to Statistics Canada, men commit suicide two to three times the rate of women, and it’s a statistic so common in Canada, it’s deemed a “long-term pattern”. For approximately 70 years, the national suicide rate for men has consistently exceeded that of women, yet there’s no definitive answer as to why.
Moore’s goal? Tackle the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, and open the discussion on it. The recent grad has morphed the original podcast from his personal musings and experiences alone, to talking with everyone from former gang members to celebrity athletes, with men’s mental health the crux of the conversations.
“Now, Life’s a Wreck has grown into an overarching mental health brand that aims to share the stories of people from all backgrounds, genders, sexualities etc.,” added Moore.
“I still talk from the perspective of a man who struggles with mental health issues, but I have found that having a variety of perspectives can really increase the chances of someone hearing something and going ‘wow that’s exactly like me’.”
Connecting with his audience on a personal level was always important for Moore, but it wasn’t until 2020 rolled on in with a pandemic in tow that saw Moore take his background project and push it to the foreground. What started as a platform to share experiences then became a purpose.
Graduating in spring 2020, Moore’s original strategy had not been to move from Toronto back to St. Stephen, and his old room.
“I was interning at Uninterrupted Canada,” said Moore, “and was hoping to carry that internship over into an entry level position.
“I was really hoping to be a junior producer.”
But, as it did with so many, COVID-19 altered Moore’s plans, leaving him feeling aimless when he first arrived back in New Brunswick.
“2020 was a terrible year for so many,” said Moore, “and honestly in terms of mental health, I feel like it’s a mental health pandemic just as much as it’s a medical pandemic.”
But being home, and having the time and impetus to take his part-time project and offer it his full-time attention, Moore suddenly realized what had started as a way to open up about his own mental issues was about to become so much more.
“Due to the uptick in interest in the world of mental health, Life’s A Wreck saw considerable growth (in 2020), and it ultimately showed me that if I doubled down on the podcast, I could eventually work for myself,” said Moore.
“2020 really inspired me to go full steam ahead on Life’s A Wreck, and I couldn’t be happier.”
And as Moore heads to the final episode of Season 3 of Life’s A Wreck, which airs Friday, January 8, his guest is the culmination of the time he’s spent honing what he knows the podcast can be.
“This one is really special for me because I’m talking with Humbolt Broncos crash survivor, Tyler Smith. Tyler was a member of the Humbolt Broncos back in 2018 when 16 people lost their lives in that crash that rocked all of Canada,” said Moore.
“On the episode, Tyler and I talk about his mental and physical recovery, the grief and depression that understandably gripped his life after the crash, and his new work within the mental health advocacy space.”
Moore also sees a new space for Life’s A Wreck as he prepares for Season 4.
“The future of Life’s a Wreck is always changing, but I think it really lies in the creation of Life’s A Wreck Media,” he said.
“As a company, Life’s A Wreck Media is going to strive to change the way we talk about mental health. It’s going to showcase the stories of so many incredible people through a variety of different mediums, and really work to almost completely de-stigmatize the world of mental health.” Moore added in the short term, get ready to see an increase in the video content he creates.
And his own journey?
“Some things that have helped me along the way are scheduling out more of my life, which helps me live more in the moment, meditation and breath work, creating a strong support system around me, and also the help of medication (Moore has been prescribed and takes 50 mg of Zoloft daily) which helps quiet the extra noise, and allows me to put in more work mentally.”
Moore added through this peregrination, he’s seen and experienced that the lack of accessible mental health care on the provincial level is an issue which needs addressing.
Moore chuckles again. “But we’ll save that for another story.”